Monday, April 30, 2012

April 30 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

April 30, 1863 - The war against prostitution in Memphis 
Closing Houses of Ill Fame. -- It is a fact too notorious that our city at the present time is a perfect bee hive of women of ill fame. The public conveyances here become theirs by right of conquest, so much so, that a lady fears to side through the streets for fear of being classed with them. To a certain extent the steamboats plying between this and other cities North of here have not the same respectability that characterized them in former years. In fact morality, from importation of lewd women from the North, is almost at a discount. It is no common occurrence to see that class of beings walking arm and arm with men who wear the apparel of gentlemen, who are here in civil as well as military capacity, in broad daylight, to the infinite satisfaction of the women and the great annoyance to respectable people. The nuisance can be stopped, will it be? An order closing houses of ill-fame, punishing officers and soldiers for associating with the inmates of those houses and making it a heavy penalty for steamboatmen to bring lewd women down the river would no doubt have the desired effect.

Memphis Bulletin, April 30, 1863.



30, "Reducing the Poor Man's Wages"
There are those in our country who, at all hazards, are resolved on holding on to the negro, and perpetuating slavery, even in the loyal region of East Tennessee. They know and feel that the people are sick and tired of fighting to perpetuate slavery in the Cotton States; that not one in ten of all the voters in East Tennessee have any interest in the institution; that they have seen their homes made desolate, and their loved ones slain and cruelly murdered on account of the nigger [sic]; that the spirit that actuated these outrages is showing itself as malignant as ever, under the guise of Unionism, [sic] and of upholding the constitution and laws, and finally, the real people see that there will be no peace in the country while the struggle is kept up to hold on to the disturbing element.
Gentlemen, with a view to carry the poor and laboring classes with them, at the ballot-box, to bolster up the institution, take the ground that if the negroes are emancipated, the competition will become so great between the negroes and the laboring classes of the whites, that poor men will have to work for nothing. This is all stuff. The emancipating of negroes will not increase their numbers, but diminish them. They are already here, and as slaves are in competition with white laborers, and really keep down the white man's wages. [sic] Emancipate them, and they will cease to be in competition with white laborers. Nay, more, our theory is, that in process of time they will, like the Indian tribes, become extinct.
But it is of no use to argue this question. The institution will be wiped out, and out to be, and that section that clings to it longest will see the most trouble, and the last to get rid of the horrors of war. Men who lend themselves to help bolster up slavery now, whether they own any or not, are in their own light, and will prove to be their own tormentors.
Brownlow's Whig and Independent Journal and Rebel Ventilator, April 30, 1864.

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